Namoi Cotton Co-operative and Louis Dreyfus Commodities are set to join forces to create a new cotton marketing and commodities packing services joint venture.

If approved by Namoi member growers, the new Namoi Cotton Alliance will be 51% held by Namoi and 49% by Louis Dreyfus, and will hold Namoi’s existing cotton marketing and commodities packing assets.

The deal will net Namoi A$30.38m (US$32m), plus a further A$3.65m from the issuing of 14,327,384 shares to Louis Dreyfus.

However, Namoi will continue to own and operate its entire existing ginning and cotton seed businesses.

“Namoi Cotton Alliance will draw on the extensive industry experience of Namoi Cotton, in conjunction with the financial capacity, global marketing expertise and risk management skills of Louis Dreyfus Commodities,” said Jeremy Callachor, Namoi Cotton Co-operative CEO.

Louis Dreyfus Australian CEO Robert Green added: “Namoi Cotton Alliance will undoubtedly support Australian cotton growers in international markets long-term, while allowing the global Louis Dreyfus Commodities business greater exposure to additional Australian cotton volumes to meet the needs of its international customers.”

The deal is now to be put to the vote of Namoi’s member growers, who have to approve it with a 75% majority – with the ballot expected to be completed by the end of February.